Driving and Dreams

This is a dream.  I'm driving somewhere - to work maybe? - and there is a turn in the road.  I need to take a right. I see the light going from green, to yellow and really quickly red.  I need to hit the brakes.  My brains know it but when I look down at my feet I are not moving. I am paralyzed and I think about physically moving my legs with my hands.  I swerve into on-coming traffic, crash and come to a stop.  Thankfully no one is hurt except for a little car damage. I think I'm ok. Some cops come see me. They say they won't press charges as long at it was not intentional... is was not intentional right? I look around me and I realize I'm sitting on the wrong side of the car. The side I'm used to driving on in Pakistan and I think to myself of course I wasn't able to hit the brakes.  The cops say that they won't press charges as not as no one has filed charges.  I feel luckily, no one has filed charges.  I'm scared of what having a charge means.  A women to the right of me I realize has been watching me talk to the cops the whole time.  She says that she wants to file charges. The cops say now they are required to file charges.  I somehow have a shotgun strapped to the top of my car. This is normal in dream-land but the cops need to take it down now that I'm getting charged.  The cop takes the gun and sees that it's loaded.  Now I'm in even bigger trouble.

I've probably been having driving dreams since I was a teenager.  I'm assuming it's since I was at least about to drive and not prior.  The car always represents my life, where it's going and it's momentum.  Me in the car, not being able to hit the brakes or steer or get where I'm going always represents my feeling of helplessness and lack of control.

Two things in this dream stick out. One is that I see the signs changing and I can't react fast enough.  I can't stop when I need to and I can't hit the brakes.  I think this definitely relates to what I am / was going through with a guy I just met.  I was a very short thing that we very on-on-on for one week and now is completely off.  I felt and still feel very disoriented but I really didn't see the signs, they changed too fast and I really didn't hit the brakes when I should have.

The other part that is interesting is when I realize I'm sitting on the wrong side of the car.  I think this alludes to me not having approached the situation taking into account that I'm not trying to date in Pakistan anymore.  As in, I wake up and realize that I was diving in a certain style, with certain rules that don't apply here.

I'm not sure what the women or the cops or the shotgun symbolize.  Maybe nothing.  Maybe just that mistakes have real consequences.


This is not a reading list. (Part 2)

  A round up of the books I read in the last couple of months.

1. The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel ChristLike Satanic versus for Christians but without the fatwa. :)




2. A Case Of Exploding Mangoes

A Case of Exploding Mangos

Even though I have sworn off fiction like other sickly sweet calorie laden treats in my life, Mohammed Hanif is a an excellent writer that you just can't help but binge on. Heard him speak at the Karachi Literary Festival (best speaker of the day) and apparently he's coming out with another book soon.



3. Building Social Businesses

Building Social BusinessesBest part of the book is that is really gets to the nitty gritty of discussing successful (and un-successful) attempts at social businesses, plus a how-to manifesto. I hope, aim, plan one day to put it into action in something I do.




4. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

The Big ShortExcellent book. Like a hard-boiled crime thriller for the financial age. Not much to be said since it spent like most of last year on the NYTimes bestseller list. I would say A LOT of understanding specifically how the financial instruments worked and the particular micro/macro effect of it went over my head. And honestly, that's after like two years of listening to NPR Planet Money Podcast which really breaks it down for the lay person, so I'm not sure how easy it is to dig into for the uninitiated.



5. The Rules of Life: A Personal Code for Living a Better, Happier, More successful kind of Life

The Rules of LifeI admit, I've become a self help junkie. The first step is admitting you need help. :P  Well anyways, I think there were some good nuggets in this book that I jotted down for future reference.





6. What the Dog Saw

What the Dog Saw

So Gladwell-y, Glaswell-esque.  Lacked a central theme, as it was random essays thrown together in book format so I would say Blink, Tipping Point and Outliers were all more enjoyable for me.




7. The Male Brain

The Male Brain

Continue to love all things science-y + brain-y. Actually, despite my decent amount of reading on the wonders of the brain it is interesting to find out how early (as in the belly) male and female brains get shaped. I think the author wrote 'The Female Brain' as well which I'm going to read sometime soon. This book isn't supposed to be a whole 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' b-s, but it does make you more accepting of the times when you feel like the men in your live are living on the same planet with different understanding of basics of physics.    :P


Aging Population, Say What?

I'm just gonna snap this ditty down.Post from Canadian Marketing Blog...

"Recruitment experts predicted that health care positions - home health care, registered nurses, personal aides, physiotherapists, occupational therapists - are all in great demand because of the aging population.....As we move into the new year, the advice for students is for them to enroll in courses catering to the aging population - there will be plenty of jobs associated with taking care of the old and senile waiting for these young people to graduate from proper training in this sector."

Full read here.What the writer DOES NOT seem to get is that health care is exactly the industry where Canada and other developed nations; are gonna have a very proactive immigration policy.  A happy brain gain you can say. Rest assured there will be enough nurses, personal aides, therapists and the like  to go around.  Health care workers will be the blue collar auto factory workers of the future.

Reading List: Half the Sky, Risk, Hapiness

A quick round up of what I'm reading these days. (Yes, I'm still up to my multiple books at a time shenanigans.) 1.  Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women WorldwideHalf the SkyThis book is E Y E   O P E N I N G. (Yes, in the all caps sense.)  I'm not exactly why, but I never actually realized how oppressed and lacking in resources and opportunity most women are.All the more ironic since I'm currently living in Pakistan. This should be at least a little bit more in the forefront for me. I can just say its a testament to how totally awesome my parents are 'cause I can honestly say I've never had less freedom, opportunity and benefits to live a fulfilling life just because I'm a girl.The book is immensely readable with stats and stories to show how empowering the women of the world is the key to solving some of the worlds biggest problems (exploding population and starvation level poverty).  Plus, what I love about this book is the practical steps that the enraged reader (read: me) can take to 'make a difference'.  Recommended for all. Especially men.


2. Risk: The Science and Politics of FearRiskI think I've read this book before in some other format. Yes, humans are irrational about how we process fear and risk. It's 'cause our stupid caveman brain.  It's got silly rules of thumbs and you know panics first thinks second because you know - it need to survive. Yes, the political / business marketing machine uses this to sell us stuff (products and votes). Got it.Basically, nothing new here for me. It's get's a little repetitive for me. But I guess a good read if you are new to the subject. Ok, wait one thing was new. Apparently we are ACTUALLY underestimated/under-fearing the risk of a meteor hitting us and making us extinct like the dinosaurs. Time to PANIC.


3. Happiness: The Science behind Your SmileHapinessI'm only 1/4th of a the way into this book.  All I can tell you is that I'm not increasing my happiness level. (j/k).I've only read like 1/2 of a self help book (How to Get What You Want and Want What You Have), which despite the supposed shame of reading a self help book, I actually found quite insightful and useful.  It will be interesting to see what the science perspective of happiness will be. Will report back.